Today is International Fanworks Day. A day when we fans can celebrate the things we create.
I’ve spoken a lot about how I feel about fanfiction and video (lovelovelovelovesquee!) so today has got me thinking about fanworks and their place in fandom.
I know a lot of people don’t like fanworks, including authors and creators, and you know, that’s fine. Fans respect that – if we are asked not to post fic or art or video then we don’t do it. Fandom works two ways after all.
But in those fandoms where we have a sort of unspoken free rein……oh wow! Boy do we ever go to town.
Fanworks are a way for fans to continue things, participate, and, on occassion fix things (see below re. ‘head canon’) that we can share with other like minded people. It’s a way to get through the horrible months between seasons, and honestly, I know that I personally have met some wonderful people through their work.
Issues with fanworks
Okay, so the biggest issue we have for fans is that fanworks can constitute a breach of a copyright because they could be seen as derivative works. Which, I guess, they are. They can also cause massive headaches for creators when they come up with an idea that already exists somewhere in fandom – this is one of the main reasons I’ve seen folk ask for fanwork not to be public. I’ve talked a lot about fanworks in the past, so I’m not going to dwell on it too much here.
Fans are amazing. I can’t say that enough. Sure, we, as a collective, can be annoying and weird and a little obsessive, but we band together, we have an amazing time, and, and this is important, we are the ones who make shows and books financially profitable, so when creators make negative comments about fans, it’s actually pretty shitty. In all the fan communities I am part of, folks are sweet, intelligent and respectful and some of them are amazingly talented. Just before Christmas I started to post a story on AO3. It was only supposed to be a short 1000 word one shot to get it out of my system. Since then it’s grown to two novel length works and a short that it never would have been if hadn’t honestly been for the encouragement and support of the community there. Logging in each day to comments and emails has become the highlight of my day. I’m a writer, but I don’t read reviews of my books, yet I devour reviews of my fanfiction. It’s a strange sort of validation. And honestly, I love being able to play in someone else’s world for a little while, but even better than that is when someone else who loves those characters as much as you do tells you that you are doing something well.
Today I am uploading two chapters, some of which will be lots of porn. Because fuck it, we fangirls like our porn and we aren’t ashamed of it.
So, whereever you are, however you spend today, read some fic, watch some vids, look at some art and marvel at how amazing fandom is.
**Head canon – a collective fan canon that is generally accepted as the norm – usually when something happens that we don’t like and so the fandom as a whole tends to ignore or ‘fix’ the event – ie. Ianto didn’t die, Mary isn’t pregnant, Mystrade (because really, that’s practically canon)